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Friend or Foe? The Bishops of Metz in Monastic Historical Narrative, c. 1000–c. 1200

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2019

SAMANTHA KAHN HERRICK
Affiliation:
Syracuse University
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Abstract

Monks writing at Saint-Clément, Metz, over roughly two hundred years produced conflicting images of Bishop Theodoric I (965–84). In earlier texts, he is the monks’ benefactor, in later sources, their foe. Historians have sought to flatten this contrast, partly because of their assumptions about monastic reform. This paper offers an alternative reading that questions those assumptions. It suggests that the evolution of Theodoric's image reflects changing ideas about monastic reform and the proper relationship between bishops and monks. It also cautions against accepting narratives – medieval or modern – that obscure the fluidity of such ideas and relationships.

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Research Article
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Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

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Footnotes

AASS = Acta Sanctorum quotquot toto orbe coluntur, ed. Jean Bolland and others, 1643–; ASHAL = Annuaire de la Société d'histoire et d'archéologie de la Lorraine / Jahrbuch der Gesellschaft für lothringische Geschichte und Altertumskunde; BHL = Société des Bollandistes, Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis (Subsidia hagiographica vi, xii, lxx), 1898–1901, 1911, 1986; MGH = Monumenta Germaniae Historica

References

1 Dionysius Sammarthan and others, Gallia christiana xiii (1785), 866; Gauthier, Nancy, ‘Metz’, in Gauthier, Nancy and Picard, Jean-Charles (eds), Topographie chrétienne des cités de la Gaule des origines au milieu du VIIIe siècle, I: Province ecclésiastique de Trèves (Belgica prima), Paris 1986, 33–53 at pp. 4950Google Scholar; Picard, Jean-Charles, ‘Le Recours aux origines: les vies de saint Clément, premier évêque de Metz, composées autour de l'an Mil’, in Iogna-Prat, Dominique and Picard, Jean-Charles (eds), Religion et culture autour de l'an Mil: royaume capétien et Lotharingie, Paris 1990, 291–9 at p. 292Google Scholar. The saint Felix to whom the abbey was originally dedicated was either the third bishop of Metz or Felix of Nola. See Paul the Deacon, Liber de episcopis Mettensibus, ed. Kempf, Damien, Leuven 2013, 60Google Scholar, and Versus de episcopis Mettensis civitatis quomodo sibi ex ordine successerunt, ed. Ernst Dümmler, MGH, Poetae, i (1881), 60–1 at lines 8–18. The translation was noted, probably before 855 but perhaps around 875, in the margins of the martyrology used in Metz cathedral in Drogo's day: ‘xiii kal. April. Mettis translatio corporis sancti Clemen[tis]’: Martyrologium hieronymianum, ed. Louis Duchesne and G. B. De Rossi, AASS Nov. II, pt i (1894), 34. See also Lifshitz, Felice, The name of the saint: the Martyrology of Jerome and access to the sacred in Francia, 627–827, Notre Dame, In 2006, 91–4Google Scholar. Sometime after this event, the church began to be known as Saint-Félix-Saint-Clément and, eventually, Saint-Clément. The timeline of this shift is uncertain: the sacramentary produced for Drogo around 850 (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, ms Latin 9428) contains a marginal note (at fo. 127v) in a mid ninth-century hand, which refers to the church as Saint-Clément, but see Picard, ‘Le Recours aux origines’, 292.

2 Miracula Clementis (BHL 1861), ed. Heinrich Volbert Sauerland, in Sancti Clementis primi Mettensis episcopi vita, translatio, ac miracula, Trier 1896, 12–17 at p. 14; Gallia christiana xiii (1785), 866–7. It is unclear what sort of clerics had previously served the church and, although this later text may be wrong about the abbey's early history, it shows how the monks chose to construct it.

3 Reimannus, Vita Caddroë abbatis (BHL 1494), ed. Jean Bolland, AASS March i (1668), 474–81 at §24; Chronicon sancti Clementis Mettense, ed. Georg Waitz, MGH, Scriptores xxiv (1879), 492–502 at p. 498. See also Picard, ‘Recours aux origines’, 292–3, and Parisse, Michel, ‘Restaurer un monastère au xe siècle: l'example de Gorze’, in Felten, Franz J. and Jaspert, Nikolas (eds), Vita religiosa im Mittelalter: Festschrift für Kaspar Elm zum 70. Geburtstag, Berlin 1999, 5578 at p. 67Google Scholar.

4 Studer, Raymond, ‘Catalogue des documents des Archives de la Moselle antérieurs à 1101’, ASHAL xxxii (1923), 121–51Google Scholar at no. 50; François, Jean, Tabouillot, Nicolas and Maugérard, Jean Baptiste, Histoire générale de Metz, ii, Metz 1775, 56Google Scholar; Voltz, Eugène, L'Abbaye de Saint-Clément à Metz: esquisee de son histoire architecturale, Metz 1968, 42Google Scholar; Picard, ‘Recours aux origines’, 293.

5 On the role of a patron saint's cult in unifying monastic communities following a reform see Nightingale, John, Monasteries and patrons in the Gorze reform: Lotharingia, c. 850–1000, Oxford 2001, 175CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 The prose text is Vita sancti Clementis episcopi et confessoris Mettensis ecclesiae (BHL 1859), ed. Heinrich Volbert Sauerland, Sancti Clementis, 7–12; the metrical text is Carus, Vita S. Clementis (BHL 1860f), ed. Karl Strecker, MGH, Poetae Latini v. 1/2 (1937), 112–45 (with preface at pp. 109–12). For the sake of clarity the prose text will be referred to as the Vita prima Clementis and the verse one as the metrical vita. The authors’ evident interest in Clement's tomb suggests that each belonged to the abbey that housed it. Both texts are discussed by Chazan, Mireille, ‘Les Évêques de Metz: Clemens’, in Goullet, Monique and Heinzelmann, Martin (eds), Miracles, vies et réécritures dans l'Occident medieval: actes de l'Atelier ‘La Réécriture des Miracles’ (IHAP, juin 2004) et SHG X–XII: dossiers des saints de Metz et Laon et de saint Saturnin de Toulouse, Ostfildern 2006, 152–89Google Scholar at pp. 154–5, 163–6. As Chazan notes, the BHL makes no distinction between the prose Vita prima and the twelfth-century Vita tertia Clementis. See also Picard, ‘Recours aux origines’, 291, 293, 296, and Philippart, Guy and Wagner, Anne, ‘Hagiographie lorraine (950–1130): les diocèses de Metz, Toul, et Verdun’, in Philippart, Guy and Goullet, Monique (eds), Hagiographies: histoire internationale de la littérature latine et vernaculaire en Occident des origines à 1550, iv, Turnhout 2006, 583742Google Scholar at p. 634.

7 Paul the Deacon, Liber de episcopis Mettensibus, 48–50. The same passages appear as part of the Vita prima Clementis, 7–8.

8 Vita prima Clementis, 11; Carus, Vita S. Clementis, 142.

9 ‘Ipse locus quondam destructus tamque relictus, / Presbiter ut tantum vix pauper viveret illic; / Urtice et sentes crescebant aede sacrata. / Custodes falsi sectantes lucra profana / Ausi sacrilegaque manu disperdere sancta, / Clementis criptam mordentes dente canino, / Marmoreas petras vellentes inde tulerunt, / Baptiste Christi sunt ausi frangere templum’: Carus, Vita S. Clementis, 143.

10 ‘Clemens, Privatus, iam Felix atque Iohannes / Cumque suis sociis consorti federe sanctis / Ante deum stantes offensi crimine tanto, … / Clemens hic … / Kadroe clarificat mox clarificatus ab ipso, / … / Concordat pariter abbas cum presule sacro. / Hic prior in donis humilis sacer ipse sacerdos, / A Christo obtinuit Clemens hunc Kadroe sanctum. / Sol latet in nube celestia sydera lustrans, / Et tamen in terris non cernitur ille refulgens: / Sic sanctus Clemens eterna luce choruscans / Abscondit radios, cernant ne terrea corda; / Dignus erat Kadroe claramque videre lucernam. / Inde gregis domini lectus hic sumere curam’: ibid. 143–4.

11 Vanderputten, Steven, Monastic reform as process: realities and representations in medieval Flanders, 900–1100, Ithaca, NY 2013CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Van Engen, John, ‘The crisis of cenobitism reconsidered: Benedictine monasticism in the years 1050–1150’, Speculum lxi (1986), 269304CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

12 ‘Theodoricus vir … ingenij singularis … intentionem sui animi circa Sanctorum memorias, locosque construendos & restaurandos verterat: quare vndecumque poterat, Sanctorum corpora & reliquias in suam diœcesim transferebat: Seruorum Dei amabat colloquia, consortia diligebat. Vnde amore Dei, Domnique Kaddroë, qui eum vnice dilexerat, locum B. Felicis, his, quibus hodie vsque in eo Christo militantes vtuntur, beneficijs auxit & prædijs, ipsumque beatum virum, ac si Patrem venerabatur, atque ad se crebro vocatum, quia spiritum consilij virum sciebat habere, audiebat, & eius caritatis orationibus se attentius committebat, quas Deo placere, tantarum virtutum testimonio comprobarat’: Reimannus, Vita Caddroë abbatis, §32. For Reimannus see De Gaiffier, Baudouin, ‘Notes sur le culte des SS. Clément de Metz et Caddroë’, Analecta Bollandiana lxxxv (1967), 2143CrossRefGoogle Scholar at pp. 32–5.

13 Miracula Clementis, 17 (quoted in n. 26 below). For the author and date see n. 18 below. The Chronicon Sancti Clementis (c. 1200) mentions the building work but gives no details: Chronicon, 499.

14 ‘ipse venerandus antistes sepulcrum sibi, quemadmodum usque hodie cernitur, fecit, in quo etiam non parvo tempore humatus iacuit’: Vita prima Clementis, 11.

15 See n. 16 below.

16 ‘In qua iam cripta Clemens pausaverat olim. / Quam pater egregius Vindricus iam auxit adornans, / Urbis Metensis tunc primicerius ingens. / Sancta et sanctorum post auxerat undique versum, / Et claustrum totum restruxit plus meliusque, / Isque dei cultor construxit nam paradysum, / Ex utero matris cum quo miseratio crevit / … / Servorum Christi cultor ac fidus amator, / quem tibi, rex Christe, commendate Carus amicus’: Carus, Vita S. Clementis, 142. The line ‘Ex utero’ paraphrases Job xxxi.18. I take sancta sanctorum here to refer to the part of the church most central to the liturgy, that is, the chancel. For the office of the primicerius in Metz see Chrodegangi Mettensis episcopi Regula canonicorum, ed. Jerome Bertram, Aldershot 2005, cap. 25 and introduction at p. 21, and Claussen, M. A., The reform of the Frankish Church: Chrodegang of Metz and the Regula canonicorum in the eighth century, Cambridge 2004, 84–5, 138–49Google Scholar.

17 Sigebert of Gembloux, relying on a roughly contemporary account of the Italian journey written by one of the clerics who travelled with Theodoric, reported that Wigericus was then the cathedral's cantor and later its custos, and also that Theodoric entrusted Wigericus with relics for transportation back to Metz: Vita Deoderici episcopi Mettensis (BHL 8055), ed. G. H. Pertz, MGH, Scriptores iv (1841), 463–83 at p. 476, and introduction pp. 461–3 at p. 461; Sauerland, Sancti Clementis primi Mettensis episcopi vita, translatio, miracula, 17 n. 1; Licht, Tino, Untersuchungen zum biographischen Werk Sigeberts von Gembloux, Heidelberg 2005, 74Google Scholar.

18 Miracula Clementis, 16–17. Jean-Charles Picard dated the composition of this text to before 1090. Mireille Chazan endorses that terminus ante quem and offers a terminus post quem of 1050 or 1070: Picard, ‘Recours aux origines’, 293; Chazan, ‘Les Saints du diocèse de Metz: Clemens’, 173. Both reject the dating by Bauduin de Gaiffier, who dated the text in reference to a doctored charter that he mistook as genuine (see n. 32 below).

19 Chronicon, 499. This text was likely composed in response to the Gesta episcoporum Mettensium. That work, produced in the 1130s by a cleric in the circle of Bishop Étienne de Bar (1120–62), did not portray Saint-Clément favourably and, in particular, downplayed its apostolic traditions. For the context see Arnaud Hari, ‘Écrire l'histoire des évêques de Metz au moyen âge: les Gesta episcoporum messins de la fin du viiie siècle à la fin du xive siècle’, unpubl. PhD diss. Metz 2010, i. 6–7, 419–24.

20 See n. 12 above.

21 Sigebert, Vita Deoderici, 472–6 (Sigebert drew this information from the account by one of Theodoric's clerics who accompanied him to Italy: see n. 17 above); Wagner, Anne, ‘Collection de reliques et pouvoir épiscopal au xe siècle: l'exemple de Thierry i de Metz’, Revue d'Histoire de l’Église de France lxxxiii (1997), 317–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

22 ‘Exaedificatam igitur aecclesiam [Sancti-Stephani] liberaliter aecclesiasticis ornamentis honoravit, donariis insuper pretiosis locupletavit, partim a se ipso collatis, partim sui amoris gratia ab optimatibus regni aecclesiae Dei oblatis’: Sigebert, Vita Deoderici, 467: for Saint-Vincent see p. 466; Licht, Untersuchungen zum biographischen Werk, 52, 54.

23 Picard, ‘Recours aux origines’, 294.

24 ‘Vir vite venerabilis domnus Theodericus de Hamalant Metensis episcopus, dum sanctissima beati Clementis pignora ad ecclesiam, cui prius prefuerat, deferri et ab omni populo ibidem venerari decrevisset’: Miracula Clementis, 16.

25 ‘Cumque letantes pervenissent ad ecclesiam dicatam in honore sancti Laurentii, ita sacri vectores corporis solo fixi immobiles sunt redditi, ut neque ceptum iter peragere neque retro possent reverti. Igitur omnibus, qui aderant, ultra quam credi potest, stupentibus et vota multaque donaria sancto Clementi, si se ad urbem deportari permitteret, devoventibus, sed nichil promoventibus, ecce subito duo iuvenes ineffabilis pulchritudinis, ab omnibus astantibus incogniti, scrinium, quod preciosissimum continebat margaritum [sic] propriis humeris imponunt et, cunctis mirabilia dei cernentibus, cum maxima celeritate ad monasterium referent, statimque nusquam comparuerunt’: ibid. 16–17.

26 ‘Tunc episcopus suo frustratus proposito, in superiori monasterio iuxta altare fecit eum recondi, in quo loco tam diu iacuit, quousque Wigericus primicerius, monasterio prolongato, eum in loco, ubi adhuc quiescit, reposuit’: ibid. 17.

27 ‘Idem etiam Deodericus episcopus pro excellentia summi pastoris eiusdemque civitatis primi presulis Clementis, cum adhuc iaceret in sepulcro, in quo prius tumulatus fuerat, in maiori ecclesia transferri voluisset; set cum deferretur, angelica dispensatione actum est, ut primus pastor ad priorem tumulum cum gloria referretur psallencium. Quo viso miraculo, episcopus cum abbate tunc Fingenio et Wygerico primicerio omnes ipsius ecclesie officinas ad usum monachorum meliorari disposuit prebendasque fratrum et curias eorum proprio sigillo nobilitavit ecclesiamque ipsam in melius auctam consecravit’: Chronicon, 499.

28 Picard, ‘Recours aux origines’, 293–4, 299. Those who have endorsed this view include Chazan, Mireille, ‘Les Vies latines de saint Clément, premier êvéque de Metz’, Francia xxxi/1 (2004), 1543Google Scholar at p. 18, and ‘Les Saints du diocèse de Metz: Clemens’, 174, 162, 166; Goullet, Monique, ‘Vers une typologie hagiographique, à partir de quelques exemples du nord-est de la France: avec une édition synoptique des deux Vies de saint Evre de Toul’, in Goullet, Monique and Heinzelmann, Martin (eds), La Réécriture hagiographique dans l'occident medieval: transformations formelles et idéologiques, Ostfildern 2003, 109–44Google Scholar at pp. 113–14, 125; Kempf, Damien, ‘A textual détournement: from Paul the Deacon's Liber de episcopis Mettensibus to the Vita Clementis’, Early Medieval Europe xx (2012), 116CrossRefGoogle Scholar at pp. 10–15; Wagner, ‘Collection de reliques’, 337; and Hari, ‘Écrire l'histoire des évêques’, i. 125.

29 Geary, Patrick J., Furta sacra: thefts of relics in the central Middle Ages, rev. edn, Princeton, NJ 1990, 104–5, 113–14Google Scholar.

30 Picard, ‘Recours aux origines’, 295, 299.

31 Ibid. 294.

Ibid

32 Hermann of Metz, Privilegium Bischofs Hermann für St. Clemens 1090, ed. Müsebeck, Ernst, in ‘Zoll und Markt in Metz in der ersten Hälfte des Mittelalters’, ASHAL xv (1903), 132Google Scholar at pp. 24–9. This charter was altered twice, most likely before 1130 and again between 1134 and 1139. See also Müsebeck, ‘Zoll und Markt’, 29–30, and Schneider, Jean, La ville de Metz aux XIIIe et XIVe siècles, Nancy 1950, 81 n. 16Google Scholar.

33 Picard acknowledged that the Vita Caddroë portrayed Theodoric as consulting Caddroë and making donations to the abbey. However, he saw this support as ending with Caddroë’s death: ‘Recours aux origines’, 293.

34 The community's divergent behaviours toward the reforming Bishop Theoger suggest deep divisions. Theoger, elected in 1118, could not gain entry to the city. In 1119 the abbot of Saint-Clément invited him to the abbey and proposed to lead him from there into the city in a formal procession. The effort was abandoned, however, when a young monk attacked the bishop violently: Vita Theogeri abbatis S. Georgii et episcopi Mettensis (BHL 8109), ed. Philipp Jaffé, MGH, Scriptores xii (1856), 450–79 at p. 478, introduction at pp. 449–50.

35 Wagner, Anne, Gorze au XIe siècle: contribution à l'histoire du monachisme bénédictin dans l'Empire, Nancy-Turnhout 1995, 73–4, 282–3Google Scholar. See also Nightingale, Monasteries and patrons in the Gorze reform.

36 Dantzer, André, ‘La Querelle des investitures dans les évêchés de Metz, Toul, et Verdun’, Annales de l'Est xvi (1902), 85100Google Scholar; Schneider, La ville de Metz, 70–1, 77–8; Parisse, Michel, ‘Metz dans l’Église impériale’, in Le Moigne, François-Yves (ed.), Histoire de Metz, Toulouse 1986, 110–35Google Scholar; Staats, Sarah, ‘Vision of an Augustinian canon in Lorraine: echoes of the Investiture Conflict in the diocese of Metz at the beginning of the twelfth century’, Analecta Bollandiana cxiii (1995), 127–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Erkens, Franz-Reiner, Die Trierer Kirchenprovinz im Investiturstreit, Cologne 1987Google Scholar; Müller, Margit, Am Schnittpunkt von Stadt und Land: die Benediktinerabtei St. Arnulf zu Metz im hohen und späten Mittelalter, Trier 1993, 2439Google Scholar; Robinson, I. S., Henry IV of Germany, 1056–1106, Cambridge 2003, 248, 253Google Scholar; Hari, ‘Écrire l'histoire des évêques’, i. 187–215.

37 Sancti-Blasii, Bernoldus, Chronicon, ed. H., G.Pertz, MGH, Scriptores v (1844), 385467Google Scholar at p. 447–48; Erkens, Die Trierer Kirchenprovinz, 45–66; Schneider, La Ville de Metz, 70–1; Hari, ‘Écrire l'histoire des évêques’, i. 195–8; Müller, Am Schnittpunkt von Stadt und Land, 30–1; Ruperti, F. and Hocquard, G., ‘Hériman, évêque de Metz (1073–1090)’, ASHAL xxxix (1930), 503–78Google Scholar at pp. 540–6; Parisse, Michel and Hari, Arnaud, Catalogue historique des évêques de Metz: le moyen âge, Paris 2015, 26–7Google Scholar, <https://lamop.univ-paris1.fr/fileadmin/lamop/publications/Morceaux_choisis/Morceaux_choisis_Parisse_Hari_2015.pdf>. For the rivalry between Saint-Arnoul and Saint-Clément see Hari, ‘Écrire l'histoire des évêques’, i. 419–24.

38 The monks’ claims to bannus and centena in several areas of the expanding city aimed to exclude episcopal agents from collecting taxes and overseeing justice in the bishop's name. Similarly, they claimed both the right to hold a substantial yearly fair and to retain the profits from it: Hermann of Metz, Privilegium Bischofs Hermann für St. Clemens 1090, passim; Schneider, La Ville de Metz, 31–2, 81–2 and passim.

39 This author is currently working on another article on this topic.

40 For example, Bishop Etienne de Bar, ‘[Charter granted to Abbot Humbert of Saint-Clément, 1130]’, and ‘[Judgement regarding dispute between Saint-Arnoul and Saint-Clément]’, ed. Michel Parisse, in Actes des princes lorrains, 2ième série, Princes ecclésiastiques, I: Les Évêques de Metz, B: Etienne de Bar (1120–1162), Nancy [1977], 62–4, 102–4. See also the charter cited at n. 32 above. Other abbeys, in Metz and elsewhere, did the same: Wolfram, G., ‘Kritische Bemerkungen zu den Urkunden des Arnulfsklosters’, ASHAL i (1888–9), 4080Google Scholar at pp. 70–3; Müsebeck, Ernst, ‘Die Benediktinerabtei St. Arnulf vor Metz in den ersten Hälfte des Mittelalters’, ASHAL xxxiii (1901), 164243Google Scholar; Schneider, La Ville de Metz, 75–6; Müller, Am Schnittpunkt von Stadt und Land; Minn, Gisela, Kathedralstadt und Benediktinerkloster: die Abtei St. Vinzenz und die Stadt Metz im Mittelalter, Trier 2002Google Scholar.

41 Hermann of Metz, Privilegium Bischofs Hermann für St. Clemens 1090.

42 The doctored charter granted or affirmed Saint-Clément's possession of several churches, which the monks claimed as parishes within their control, as well as a stretch of the river Seille on the city's eastern side, and holdings further afield. It granted the abbey bannus and centena, as well as exclusive jurisdiction and revenues within their holdings. Additionally, it gave them the right to hold an eight-day market each May and stipulated that episcopal officials (namely the advocatus and villici civitatis) were to help ensure its success – for instance, by making sure that vendors paid for their stalls. The charter also reported that a Bishop Adalbero had granted Saint-Clément the parish of Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Jean Schneider accepted that claim and proposed that it had been made by Adalbero iii: La Ville de Metz, 30, the interpolations at p. 81 n. 16.

43 Picard, ‘Recours aux origines’, 293.

44 Ibid; Gallia christiana xiii (1785), 867–8.

Ibid

45 Carus, Vita S. Clementis, 144. The Chronicon, by contrast, refers (p. 499: quoted above at n. 27) to Fingenius as abbot of Saint-Clément during the time that Wigericus was primicerius and oversaw the work at the abbey – that is, still in Theodoric's reign.

46 Picard, ‘Recours aux origines’, 293. Other scholars have endorsed this view: Chazan, ‘Les Saints du diocèse de Metz: Clemens’, 162, 173; Hari, ‘Écrire l'histoire des évêques de Metz’, i. 125.

47 ‘À quel titre intervient-il [Wigericus] à Saint-Félix? On ne voit guère d'autre solution que d'amettre qu'il a été désigné par son évêque comme abbé non régulier de Saint-Félix et qu'il a succédé à Cadroë. Thierry Ier a donc abandoné provisoirement la cause de la réforme monastique et il a donné à nouveau Saint-Félix en bénéfice à un dignitaire du Chapitre cathédral. Ce revirement … montre que l’évêque de Metz a conçu un nouveau projet qui relègue au second plan dans son esprit le souci de la régularité monastique: Thierry Ier veut transférer le corps de saint Clément dans la cathédrale de Metz, et il craint l'opposition d'un abbé régulier’: Picard, ‘Recours aux origines’, 293.

48 See n. 47 above.

49 Vanderputten, Monastic reform as process.

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